August is National Sandwich Month. The basic concept of the sandwich long predates the Earl of Sandwich, the real-life 18th-century aristocrat who reportedly loved them, and gave them their modern name. The ancient Jewish sage Hillel the Elder is said to have wrapped lamb-meat and bitter herbs between two pieces of matzoh (unleavened bread) during Passover. Early versions of the “wrap” have also been found in Asia and Africa. The sandwich grew in popularity among aristocrats in the 18th and 19th centuries. Legend has it they were popularly shared, held with one hand, during late-night gaming and drinking.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a sandwich must have at least 35% cooked meat and be no more than 50% bread. The average American child eats about 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before finishing high school. Astronaut John Young once smuggled a corned beef sandwich on board a Gemini flight. Submarine sandwiches are called “hoagies” in Philadelphia and “heroes” in New York. The Dagwood sandwich was first introduced by Chic Young, creator of the Blondie strip, who described the sandwich as a “mountainous pile of dissimilar leftovers.”
SANDWICH HACKS: HOW TO ENJOY NATIONAL SANDWICH MONTH
- When making a BLT, weave the bacon together to avoid the bacon from falling out when you bite into it.
- Worried about “fridge thieves” sealing your sandwich at the office? Get a Moldy Sandwich Bag. The bag isn’t really moldy; it only gives the appearance your lunch looks moldy and spoiled.
- Instead of bread or toast, make your breakfast sandwiches with waffles.
- Turn your freshly-baked bread over and slice it on the soft side. That helps prevent squishing the bread.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Try a new sandwich recipe every week and share them on social media! Get some of our family favorites from our recipes page. Wraps, Panninis, and family dinners can be found here. Use #NationalSandwichMonth to post your creations.
In 1952, the Wheat Flour Institute established August as National Sandwich Month. Newspapers across the country filled their pages with recipes fit for the Earl of Sandwich and picnics alike. The annual observance continues today.